Most notably recognized for advancing the field of forensic psychology in the areas of wrongful conviction and eyewitness identification, Brian Cutler, PhD, has also served as a consultant and expert witness in more than 150 criminal cases involving eyewitness identification and coercive interrogation in Canada and the United States.
With a penchant for justice, he began his post-secondary education at a time when the problem of wrongful conviction wasn’t yet on the radar in North America. Dr. Cutler was enthusiastic about how basic principles of scientific psychology could be used to improve police investigations and criminal justice. The emerging field of forensic psychology and the opportunity to help shape this burgeoning field captivated his interest, and he has never regretted his career choice.
Dr. Cutler graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester in New York in 1982; he received his Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1984; and he earned his Doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987.
In 1987, Dr. Cutler joined the Department of Psychology at Florida International University (FIU), where he climbed the academic ranks from assistant to associate to professor over a span of 15 years. During his time there, he also served as associate dean of FIU’s College of Arts and Sciences between 1992 and 1998. In 2002, he joined the University of North Carolina in Charlotte where he served as professor and chair of the Department of Psychology until 2008.
Dr. Cutler has authored or co-authored more than 100 books, book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in psychology and law journals, covering the topics of eyewitness identification, jury decision-making, and basic social psychology. His articles have appeared in the prestigious Law and Human Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Applied Cognitive Psychology, and Legal and Criminological Psychology. His current research is focused on co-editing a Handbook of Forensic Psychology for the American Psychological Association Press (APA). The comprehensive handbook is a two-volume review of the latest research, techniques and tools in the field.
Industry Expertise (4)
Areas of Expertise (7)
Interrogation and Confessions
Mistaken Eyewitness Identification
Law and Society
Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UOIT (professional)
In this role, Dr. Cutler assists the Dean on all matters pertaining to faculty leadership and administration, and serves as Acting Dean in the dean's absence.
Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UOIT (professional)
Dr. Cutler supervises innovative undergraduate and graduate research in areas of false accusations and mistaken eyewitness identification.
Author, Reform of Eyewitness Identification Procedures (professional)
A follow-up to his previous book Conviction of the Innocent, in this book Dr. Cutler narrows his focus to the single most common feature in cases of wrongful convictions: mistaken eyewitness identifications. Published in 2013 by the APA Press, this book is an important milestone in ongoing efforts to improve the manner in which police conduct photoarrays and lineups and improve the accuracy of eyewitness identifications.
Co-Author, Jury Selection (professional)
Jury Selection reviews the laws and practices governing the jury selection procedure in the U.S. as well as the scientific research on jury selection. The book provides an overview of standardized tools for assessing personality traits and attitudes that may be related to jurors' verdicts as well as the research establishing the validity of these measures. Published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, the book is part of a 19-volume Oxford Forensic Best Practices Series.
Guest Editor and Editorial Board Member, Law and Human Behavior (professional)
Since 1990, Dr. Cutler has served on the Editorial Board of the world’s leading forensic psychology journal, Law and Human Behavior, journal of the American Psychology-Law Society in various roles, including guest editor since 2012. Previously, he served as editor from 2006 to 2011, during which time he raised the journal’s international profile; and now serves as guest editor.
Editor, Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons From Psychological Research (professional)
In this 2011 book published by the APA Press, Dr. Cutler presents a state-of-the-field review of current psychological research on conviction of the innocent. This comprehensive volume represents an important milestone for research on miscarriages of justice and derives compelling recommendations for future research and practical reform in police and legal procedures.
Co-Author, Evaluating Eyewitness Identification (professional)
Evaluating Eyewitness Identification presents current information on factors that are known from scientific research to influence the accuracy of eyewitness identification. The book serves as a resource for attorneys who try cases involving eyewitness identification, psychologists who consult or testify in eyewitness cases, and eyewitness researchers. Published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, the book is part of a 19-volume Oxford Forensic Best Practices Series.
Member, Executive Committee, American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) (professional)
The AP-LS strives to enhance well-being, justice, and human rights through the science and practice of psychology in legal contexts. Since 2005, Dr. Cutler has served as a member of the society’s Executive Committee. His roles have included editor-in-chief of the society’s journal, president-elect, president, immediate past president, chair of the Governance Committee, and representative to the American Psychological Association’s Council.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: PhD, Social Psychology 1987
State University of New York at Genesco: MA, Psychology 1984
University of Rochester: BA, Psychology 1982
- American Psychology-Law Society
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
Media Appearances (1)
Durham professor helps wrongfully convicted
DURHAM -- Part of a relatively small network of researchers involved in eyewitness identification, a UOIT professor knows this testimony can result in someone going to jail for a crime they didn’t commit. “I’ve been involved as a consultant or an expert witness in over 150 different cases,” said Dr. Brian Cutler, a University of Ontario Institute of Technology professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.
Event Appearances (2)
The Truth as Eye Recall
Continuing Legal Education Workshop, Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted Toronto, Ontario
The Identification Expert: Who is that Masked Man?
Criminal Lawyers Association Conference Toronto, Ontario